The Booneville Police Department started last week what Police Chief Al Brown said will be regular reports to the city council at its monthly meetings.
Brown told the council a policy and procedure manual for the department has been completed and that every officer will be required to sign a statement verifying they have received a copy of the manual and that they will adhere to the contents thereof.
The manual, Brown said, covers all aspects of law enforcement.
Arkansas Municipal League attorneys, the Arkansas Association of Chiefs of Police, the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Public Area Training Council combined forces to create a manual geared toward municipalities.
“We were able to go through (the manual) and look at all the ones that kind of interact with things we do on a daily basis,” said Brown. “Our officers all have a copy of it and sometime in September we will be having a meeting and going over any questions they may have.”
Stipulated policies and procedures serve as a multi-faceted protection, Brown said.
“It’s not just to protect the police officers themselves but it also protects the police department and the City of Booneville as an entity,” said Brown. “It’s something new that will be, more or less, our bible — something we’ll go through each day and live by and everybody will be on the same page.”
BPD Lt. Steve Reid also provided some statistical data about the department.
“About 50 percent of what we do on a daily basis is either drugs or alcohol-related offenses,” said Reid. “We kind of encompass theft into that because, as we all know, theft is usually just trying to find ways of getting money so they can support their habits,” said Reid.
Reid said the department had taken 491 offense reports in 2013. Among them were 90 theft related, 40 harassment, 45 assault and or battery, 30 for drug offenses and 24 for breaking or entering.
“Those are our top five offenses, which makes up about 50 percent of our total reports,” said Reid.
The department had 227 arrests through last Monday as well with 33 percent for warrants, 16 percent alcohol related, 12 percent drug related, 10 percent theft and 8 percent battery or assault, Reid added.
Another 21 percent are for “other” which can range from court sentencing by a judge to disorderly conduct, the lieutenant said.
The average stay for an inmate is about three days, Reid said.